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Device cleans lint from dryers to prevent fire

March 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thousands of house fires are started each year by clothes dryers clogged with lint. The Lint Lizard, an infomercial product, was tested to see if it can help reduce a fire risk.

Fire can start in the dryer vent and spread to destroyed an entire house. Fire officials say lint can build up in the dryer's ducts and catch fire. To prevent this from happening in your home, it's essential to clean the lint from your dryer's ducts and lint trap.

The Lint Lizard attaches to your vacuum cleaner. You thread the tube through the opening of a dryer's lint trap.

"The Lint Lizard worked really well," said Consumer Reports tester Bernie Deitrick. "It removed more lint than any other technique that we tried."

But one drawback: the Lint Lizard may not fit easily into very narrow dryer openings. And its sharp tip could damage flexible foil or plastic ductwork. However, Consumer Reports doesn't recommend those kinds of ducts anyway.

"It can sag, collect lint and cause problems with venting your dryer," said Deitrick.

Consumer Reports says metal ducts are far better, either flexible or solid. You want to clean those at least once a year. And clean your lint trap every time you use the dryer. Taking these precautions can help prevent a tragedy.